Are you considering slate tile for your new roof? Like any other roofing material, slate tile has a host of benefits and drawbacks that are unique. For example, folks favor slate tile roofing because they love its look, yet others shy away from slate, due to its price. Where do you stand?
Well, if you’re trying to weigh your options, we’ve created a list of the pros and cons of slate tile roofing, so that you can make an informed decision. Here’s an outline of the pros and cons of slate tile roofing.

The Benefits of Slate Tile


Slate tile is the longest lasting roofing option on the market. Slate is rock that is cut down to individual tiles. As such, slate tiles can last for decades on end. Some slate roofs have been known to last for a century or longer. So, if you’re building a home that you plan on living in throughout your lifetime, investing in slate may be well worth the value.


Slate is cherished for its natural look. Folks flock to slate since it looks great with most homes. Slate tiles have a natural sheen, which looks good as you approach the property. Plus, these tiles are available in a variety of colors, depending on the source quarry. You can match your slate tile roof to the aesthetics of your home, capping off its theme. Slate works well with brick, stone, wood siding, and stucco homes — practically any home will look great under a slate roof.


While slate is expensive (more on that in a bit), you will get plenty of value out of this roofing material. Slate roofs outlast other roofing materials that are available, which means that you won’t have to repair or replace your roof as often. Over time, those costs will stack up, which means that a heavy investment now will be the less expensive option in the future. Beyond that, slate roofs hold their value for homeowners who choose to sell their homes. A slate roof can be an excellent selling point when attracting buyers. Potential buyers will be attracted to the look of your home, plus they’ll love that slate will continue to protect the home for decades on end (likely maintenance free). That added value may mean a higher price tag for your home, should you ever place it on the market.

The Drawbacks of Slate Tile

Structural Requirements

Slate is heavy. In fact it’s far heavier than any other roofing material. While asphalt shingle roofs tend to max out at a weight of 350 pounds per square (a roofing square is equal to 100 square feet), slate tile can weigh up to 1,870 pounds per square! Most slate tile roof weigh about 900 to 950 pounds per square, which is still far heavier than any shingle roof (or any other roof material for that matter!). That means that you’ll need far more structural support to ensure that your roof doesn’t collapse under all that weight. For some homes, slate tile simply isn’t an option. If you’re building a new home or retrofitting an old home, you’ll have to add extra support to ensure that your slate tile roof is structurally sound.


While most roofs can be completed for a few thousand dollars, slate roofs tend to cost tens of thousands. If that’s outside of your budget, or if that cost doesn’t make sense for the value of your home, then you’ll want to consider other options. Slate tile costs, on average, about $1,500 per square (again, a square is 100 square feet), while asphalt shingles (a far less expensive option) often cost about $200 per square.

Difficulty of Roof Work

While installing slate tiles can go quite smoothly, you’ll have to remain cautious with your roof for the lifetime of the tiles. If you’re having work done on your roof or on anything that protrudes from your roof, be wary that slate tiles will be liable to crack underfoot. Make sure that any maintenance service providers are aware of the fragility of your slate tile roof, especially if you have slate tiles that are a few decades old. A worker may easily crack tiles on your roof while they work on your chimney, while they install a satellite, etc.

Turnaround Time

Slate tile roofs take longer to install than other roofing materials. Since tiles have to be laid and secured one by one, a roof can take several days longer to install. Shingle roofs, on the other hand, can be installed quickly, since a few sheets of shingles can cover a full roofing square, and since these sheets can be installed with a few pounds from a staple gun.

Get a New Roof With Red Dog’s Roofing

Regardless of the roofing material that you choose for your home, we’d be happy to install it. We work with slate tile roofs as well as asphalt shingles, wood shakes, metal roofing, and composite slate roofs. Reach out to us today to schedule your roofing installation — we provide roofing installs and repairs for folks throughout Fitchburg, Leominster, Gardner, and the surrounding area.